Bowl Games 2012-13: Playmakers Who Will Decide This Year's Matchups

Mike HoagCorrespondent IIDecember 14, 2012

COLLEGE STATION, TX - NOVEMBER 17: Johnny Manziel #2 of the Texas A&M Aggies avoids a tackle by Darius Taylor #36 of the Sam Houston State Bearkats at Kyle Field on November 17, 2012 in College Station, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

The 2012-13 college football bowl season will feature all of the top playmakers from the regular season. It’s that special time of the year for players to make themselves household names with huge games on the national stage.

But, of all the great players in college football, who will breakout with the biggest games to lead their teams to victory?

Take a look at a few of the names we think will light up the scoreboard when their respective bowl games go down.


Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor

Williams had an incredible senior season, topping the nation with 1,764 receiving yards. That was good enough to earn him the honor or being selected to the 2012 All-American Team.

UCLA may look like favorites in the Holiday Bowl, but people should think again with players like Williams catching passes for the Bears.

Williams, 6’2” and 205 pounds, set school records for receptions (17) and receiving yards in a game (314) in a September shootout with West Virginia.

Kenjon Barner, RB/De’Anthony Thomas, RB, Oregon

Thomas, listed as a running back, is technically whatever the Ducks need him to be in Chip Kelly’s offense. The dynamic and speedy back is capable of turning any play into a touchdown. He can and will lineup anywhere on the field, too.

Barner is more predictable, but that doesn’t make him any less explosive. When he goes off, he goes OFF. His 321 yards and five touchdowns against USC should be evidence of that.

There have been times where Anthony has outshone Barner this year, but that hasn’t happened very much. Barner has rushed for over 200 yards twice and nearly did two other times (195, 198).

Kansas State is going to have its hands full with both of these dynamic athletes in the Fiesta Bowl.

Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia

Austin was moved to running back recently, and went absolutely nuts against the Oklahoma Sooners on November 17. West Virginia lost, but the statement was made. He finished the game with 21 carries for 344 yards and two touchdowns.

That’s 16.4 yards per carry for those of you doing math at home.

Unlike De’Anthony Thomas, Austin has the ability to play a true receiver position. That makes him just as dangerous in the vertical passing game as in the rushing game. Accounting for him is tough, but it is imperative for Syracuse if it hopes to become winners at the Pinstripe Bowl.

Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

The Heisman Trophy winner has a very favorable matchup against the Oklahoma Sooners in the Cotton Bowl.

Oklahoma is no stranger to the Aggies, but both teams are having entirely different seasons than what they are used to. The Sooners have won eight of the last 10 matchups between the two schools.

Manziel, though, has the ability to put the exclamation point on his record-breaking freshman season. A huge win over the Sooners would certainly be the picture-perfect ending to that historic run.

Oklahoma was tagged for over 350 yards through the air against Geno Smith in the Sooners’ near loss. The Aggies and Manziel have a much more well-rounded attack and could be a nightmare in the Cotton Bowl.